A Container-based Edge Cloud PaaS Architecture based on Raspberry Pi Clusters
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Cloud technology is moving towards multi-cloud environments with the inclusion of various devices. Cloud and IoT integration resulting in so-called edge cloud and fog computing has started. This requires the combination of data centre technologies with much more constrained devices, but still using virtualised solutions to deal with scalability, flexibility and multi-tenancy concerns. Lightweight virtualisation solutions do exist for this architectural setting with smaller, but still virtualised devices to provide application and platform technology as services. Containerisation is a solution component for lightweight virtualisation solution. Containers are furthermore relevant for cloud platform concerns dealt with by Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) clouds like application packaging and orchestration. We demonstrate an architecture for edge cloud PaaS. For edge clouds, application and service orchestration can help to manage and orchestrate applications through containers. In this way, computation can be brought to the edge of the cloud, rather than data from the Internet-of-Things (IoT) to the cloud. We show that edge cloud requirements such as cost-efficiency, low power consumption, and robustness can be met by implementing container and cluster technology on small single-board devices like Raspberry Pis. This architecture can facilitate applications through distributed multi-cloud platforms built from a range of nodes from data centres to small devices, which we refer to as edge cloud. We illustrate key concepts of an edge cloud PaaS and refer to experimental and conceptual work to make that case.